111 Tasting Notes

drank Boléro by Mariage Frères
111 tasting notes

Just opened the bag, which was given to me, so I hadn’t smelled or tried it before.
The dry tea looks and smells fantastic : I can identify the apricot and the peach, maybe the fig, in the aftersmell. Before checking the flavors, I just knew it was fruity and extremely mellow.
I drank it 3 times already.
The first time, all I could think of was “oh mellow, very round taste, very sweet and nice, cannot identify any specific flavor in this blend”.
The second and third times were the same, combined with a question of how I would rate this tea in comparison with others; I came up blank on this latest topic, wondering whether its appeal might last.
Despite knowing which flavors to expect,I did not manage yet to identify any when drinking. To me, they all are blended together in an harmonious and lush blend.
When drinking it, I am reminded of the rich lotions and body butters, with a fruit fragrance, that I loved while I was younger, especially an Apricot thick lotion from Body Shop which I always wanted to eat ;) It’s like I was doing it now.
I also really like the feeling this tea leaves in my mouth after swallowing it, as if a soothing balm covered my palate.
The tea taste only comes after the mellow explosion of fruits; it’s good, though not exceptional a base. I did not feel any bitterness.

All in all : a fruity tea very easy to drink, throughout the day.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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I thought I had reviewed this one already.
One day I went tourist shopping in Singapore Chinatown, entered a tea shop, tasting the tea-du-jour, a nice oolong, wandered and smelled almost all the varieties available, as I had lots of time and there were nobody in the shop anyway. Their product range was definitely on “simple” green and oolong, plus some black, some pu-erh and lapsang souchong (I usually do not like the taste of those two last, just the smell is enough to tell me I do not feel like drinking that); nothing flavored, except maybe some jasmine.
I have to confess, I am far from a specialist in teas and usually tend more on the side of “I like drinking something with a nice taste”, hence my preference for flavored teas.
I decided to give a chance to a Taiwanese oolong, as the cup I had tried was rather nice (though not really available for sale for a reason I could not understand and which seems totally stupid).
I settled on choosing the most expensive of the common range, excluding the exceptional with off-the-charts pricing teas, which I am not knowledgeable enough to appreciate to their value.
At the smell, it smells greener and less astringent than the other ones; I had the feeling when smelling it that it would hardly turn bitter, while I had some doubts about even the second best. It comes as small pearls/beads, very nice to look at, quite convenient for serving IMO and hiding usually nice leaves.
The first times I brewed this tea in my usual big teapot, which was not a great idea. Recommended steeping time is to be short but it does not work so well with big water quantities, so I tended to oversteep and it turned a little bit bitter / not so nice. Another problem was that the leaves couldn’t expand nicely, as I use a teaball (I’ve got to get a filter though).
Today, I finally decided to try it, chinese style, with the gaiwans I also got in this shopping spree, and which I usually just use as regular cup. I’m a bit of a klutz and have to use the two of them – one to brew the tea, then the other to be poured in to drink after steeping. Thus I could try the first 60s first steeping (well more around 75 s), 40s second, 40s third and 50s following.
It’s better : no bitterness at all and a very green, very fresh taste. I have the feeling I could resteep the same leaves many times.
And the surprise was when I realized how big the leaves really were : around 6 to 7 cm ! I had never seen leaves this big unbroken before.

As a conclusion, after all this ranting, I’m glad I bought this tea as it really has a very delicate taste and contributes to further my education in fine teas. In my inexperience, I’m not sure oolong can get much better. Maybe it’ll grow more on me and I’ll feel more often willing to drink it as opposed to flavored tea, now that I know how to prepare it.

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I brought a little box of those pearls to my office, when I usually drink it around lunch time and in the early afternoon. For my office cup, I’ve reduced the number of pearls/beads to 7, which almost fills my strainer, as the great nice big leaves unfold (with plenty of water or air in between).
I usually steep the leaves 3 or 4 times, but some days I’ve done it until 7 times. The tea was still very very nice, not bitter at all, not watery after those 7 times; of course, I forgot a few times the strainer steeping for much longer than the 1 mn recommended – the tea never turned bitter or unpleasant. The color did not change much either but is in any case such a light yellow from the first, that it’s a bit difficult to tell. I felt like I could have gone on for quite a while before being disappointed by a weak brew.
The unflavored but very delicate taste make it very easy to drink, without being weary of it.
I’ll most definitely try some other oolongs after this one. In any case, that won’t be soon, as it was a big 150g bag and I seem to use less than 1g for each brew so it’s going to last very long.


I am having this right now and it´s lovely indeed! got to do a couple more steeps – the leaves have not even totally unfurled!

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drank Nuit calme by La Tisaniere
111 tasting notes

A few years ago, while feeling really overstressed and not sleeping well, I came across this in my supermarket and bought it.
I usually like camomile herbal tea, lime-tree herbal tea and all kind of orange blossom / orange tree tea.
I did not expect miracles, but thought it could not do any harm.
How wrong was I !
I do not know how it can be possible, that a mix of 3 things that I like can turn into something that I really do not like at all, but there it was. An unpleasant smell (even my husband complained from a few meters away), an absolutely disgusting taste : like overdried grass and a bit of earth put into hot water. I could not drink more than a very few sips and stopped as I felt it would upset my stomache. This bad experience created more excitement not conducive to sleep than the mellow relaxed feeling I was supposed to fall into.
After a few days, I threw the whole box away, not even trying to give it to someone else, neither willing to find alternative ways to use it.
I think those were probably among the most expensive and the worst tasting sips of my whole life.
It was the last time I bought any product from La Tisaniere.

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It sounds vile! But funny about the brand, it used to be ubiquitous around here some years ago, I quite liked a few of their fruit tisanes. But maybe those were better or my memory is very kind.

And sleep tisanes it´s like they got the potential to go so very very wrong. particularly when they insist on putting valerian on it!


My memory of their fruit tisanes is rather good, as well, although they changed most of their recipe sometime around 2005 and I did not like the new ones.
With detox / health-improvement / natural sleep inducer mix, it often turns bad to my opinion, as if given it a bad to vile taste was necessary to convince the customer of the product efficiency, like the embodiment of the sentence “no pain, no gain”.


Yes, I think you are right, they need to make it taste bad so we feel virtuous taking it!

To be fair, some of my favorite lovely-tasting rooibos (Marco Rouge, or Berry Berry Nice) can make me feel extremely well and nicely ready to go to sleep.

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drank pear vanilla by La Tisaniere
111 tasting notes

I really loved the taste of this herbal tea : the pear and vanilla mix being absolutely perfect. I bought it regularly, despite my knowing that the ingredients within the bags were definitely not a great quality and that the aromas were most probably artificial.
One day, I put a bag in a big water bottle in which I had put filtered water with a sterilizing tablet, which gave it a very strong and unpleasant chlorine taste. Wow, the taste was really light but absolutely delightful and moreover it gave the impression that the water was actually cooler than it really was.
Unfortunately shortly after that La Tisanière stopped this product for another one called Poire caramélisée (Caramelized Pear), in which the caramel tastes fake, the pear not so natural either and the whole mix did not work at all for me. I stopped buying this range of product then.

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Mon Dieu, La Tisanière ! j’avais oublié l’existence de cette marque. Thanks for the reminding. It makes me think about long winter evenings at my grand parents home …it was always a moment when Grandma was saying ’do you want a tisane ?" (“est-ce que tu veux une tisane ?” plus exactement…my grandma never spoke a word in English)" meaning…prepare yourself to go to bed …soon !


Not sure but I believe if the answer to that question was no, the following would be “Are you really sure you do not want a tisane?” I share kind of common experience, especially with this brand and the Fruit or Herbal tisanes, as well as the Lipton Saveurs du Soir. I’m not really willing to try them again now that I’ve tasted something else…

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This was the first loose leaves tea I bought while I was a student, after I had tasted Marco Polo from my friend, was willing to upgrade from tea-bags filled with bitter dust but did not have the budget to buy high-end product.
It’s largely available, priced very reasonably for 200 g. The tea quality seems quite honorable; the taste is rather good, nothing subtle in this Earl Grey but it provides for a perfectly enjoyable cup.
However I remember scowling a few times at its bitterness when oversteeped. I’ll probably will not buy it again, as I can afford to try hopefully finer ones and do not drink enough to be really interested in a bargain buy. But it is definitely a very good bargain buy to my opinion.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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I’ll add up to my review after a few more pots from this one.
On my bag, it says “A delicious rooibos, enlivened by marigold petals, evokes the tasty perfume of vanilla. Perfect in the evening.”
When opening the bag, it looks nice with the yellow petals. The taste of almond directly came to my mind and I was surprised not to see it mentioned. After brewing, the smell of almond is definitely still there. When drinking, it is actually the only taste that I can think of.
I like almonds. However I have the feeling that there is too much of it and that this overwhelming flavor kills all the others.
I’ll definitely look out for the missing vanilla next time and am convinced after 2 pots that I will have more than enough of it by the time the bag is finished.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

Upping my rating on this one.
Rooibos des Vahinés tend to grow on me, despite what I thought at first. I finally found the vanilla, though hidden behind the almond. My hubby only smell and taste the vanilla, not the almond, strange uh!
The rooibos base, to my opinion, is not as nice as Mariage Frères’ but is decent enough. I would not go to Le Palais des Thés just to buy this one, but in the not-subtly flavored rooibos category, it’s nice.
Very pleasant too cold. It’s my current evening ice tea.
In 2 months, I’ve already used more than 1/3rd of my bag, that’s rather a very good sign ;)

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I do not know why I did never buy this one, as it probably is among my favorites from Le Palais des Thés. However I drank it very regularly at one of my friend at our weekly video evenings.
This tea is low on theine, which is really perfect for the evening.
The tea base is nice, without having anything really special. The flavor is actually very simple : lime. Hence a tangy smell and taste, that I enjoy very much, as I find it very natural. No feeling of drinking the dishwashing liquid there ;)
Writing this review brings me a craving to taste it again… I might buy it next time, though I’ve said that a few times already and never did.

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Is lime citron in French? What is lemon in French, then? (This is confusing for me because citron is lemon in Danish. :)


Lime is Citron Vert in French, the “vert” (meaning green) adjective being sufficient to refer to a different species of citrus from the usual yellow Lemon / Citron. Hope this helps ;)

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drank Løv is Pure by Løv Organic
111 tasting notes

While visiting her, one friend brought me to a Lov Organic shop, close to Les Halles in Paris. I really liked the promise : everything organic, good quality product, etc. We spent a little while in the shop where I smelled 10 to 15 blends. Most of them did not suit me at all, as they smelled really spicy and to my opinion too heavy on the spice. I especially remember one where the cinnamon smell was so strong, I did not even need approaching the box from my nose; I do not remember its name however.
Lov is pure was the only tea that I felt like drinking and thus purchased this day.
The blend is a bit unusual (to my opinion), as it contains rather large pieces of dry fruit (apple). Some of the leaves are almost complete (up to 1.5 cm); some (is it mate?) are cut into very small but rather thick pieces.
I forgot sometimes the infuser a little too long in the pot and that is not something to be done, as the brew turns bitter.
The color is a clear greenish-yellow. The smell isa bit tangy; it really is perfect to convey the message this is a detoxifying and purifying though enjoyable drink. When smelling it, I feel like in an expensive spa ;)
The taste is rather nice, provided it was not steeped too long. It tastes really green, the citrus and the apple bring a subtle flavor, less noticeable at tasting than at smelling.
However and this explains my so-so rating, I never could drink an entire tea-pot and had always more than enough after 1 to 2 cups, as if my body was telling me it was clean enough and did not need any more of this brew.
To my opinion, this is a tea that caters only for some moments, like late-morning and definitely neither breakfast, nor late afternoon / evening.
I’ve tried it iced and it really works well – the tangy and very light sweetness brought by the apple being perfect to make it very refreshing. I could drink it more easily and in larger quantities as well, than when hot.
I’ll not buy it again when I will have managed to finish the bag, after drinking it more than 3/4th iced. I do not believe I’ll try another one from the same company either.

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never tried LOV brand – I wasn’t attracted by their flavors- At least their tins are really cute.


I bought only a bag; so I do not even have the pleasure of looking at a cute tin. Anyway it was lime green for the tea and it’s not a color I really like anyway ;)

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A few years ago, afterhaving discovered Le Palais des Thés, I bought this one following a craving for Earl Grey.
I drank it usually in the morning and found it quite perfect for brunches. However I was not wowed by this tea. Each time I drank it, I kept wondering whether it was really better than my first favorite loose leaf by Twinings and whether the markup was worth it. To my opinion, it was just a nice Earl Grey blend, with nothing really special.
Actually as this tea killed my craving for Earl Grey for a few years (I did not drink any and was not willing to buy and try another one), I’ll be quite severe with its rating – maybe a bit more than deserved.

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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I’ve started drinking much more tea quite recently, almost completely quitting espresso for it!
I’ve been introduced to high quality tea by one of my best friend, MF Marco Polo addict since more than 20 years. I’ve only rarely bought tea-bags since then, preferring the quality-price ratio of loose leaves.
I drink my tea natural, without any milk, sugar or sweetener. I only add honey when a sore-throat is coming along.
I usually either brew a large pot at home or resteep my leaves at the office. I cannot seem to learn to master the use of a gaiwan in an elegant and not clumsy way…
My tea preferences :
- I really like flavored black teas, with a preference for fruity flavors, from a tangy Earl Grey to a real fruit smoothie-like tea. I’m trying some single origin unflavored blacks from time to time but always end up having trouble to finish them. I usually do not really enjoy the strong breakfast teas.
- I do not like chai or teas with strong spice flavors. Strange considering I really like spicy food, but not what I drink.
- I am quite afraid of pu-erh and lapsang souchong, though I probably have never drunk any real good ones and I’m quite sure it can make a huge difference… A few years ago, I had been introduced to scotch whisky and can definitely attest that you cannot say you don’t like whisky, if you’ve only drunk blended stuff and not tasted yet single malts. I hope to get the same happy discovery for those teas.
- I discovered very good oolong, without going through the step of drinking bad-one first, and really enjoy it, especially with a meal. I’ll definitely try some flavored oolongs in a near future.
- I’ve just started discovering white teas, which feels very delicate. The only problem is that those can be awfully expensive…
- I also really like rooibos which I discovered a few years ago while searching for low-theine/caffeine teas that I could drink at night without suffering from insomnia.
- As with green tea, we’ve had a long-standing difficult relationship. I’ve occasionally had some that were real smooth, refreshing and so very many that turned bitter very quickly. And I cannot stand a bitter tea.
- As for jasmine tea, I used to like it but have indeed drunk too much of some bad quality bitter brew, and now I even have problem finishing the high-quality pearls I bought in Beijing.
- Yerba Mate: I’ve had some in one blend and am quite convinced that I would never like that as bitterness is one of its main characteristics. I’ll try to avoid it like the plague.
- Herbal tea: I used to drink more or those before discovering rooibos; finding good ones is unfortunately really difficult – even in organic shops, the herbs sold are far from great.
I loathe artificial flavoring of any kind in any beverage or food.

I’m quite opiniated and try to leave room for further improvement and better discoveries, which explain why I haven’t rated any tea in the 95 and above range.
Teas above 80 are among my favorites
Between 60-80, I could or could not give them a second chance or recognize that they are made with high-quality ingredients though their taste does not please my buds.
Around 50, it starts to be rather bad and a not so pleasant experience to drink.
25 to 40+ cover low quality products that I manage to drink when nothing else is available.
Below that, it’s really vile and basically almost undrinkable IMHO.



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